Friday, July 1, 2016

"Who am I?" - O-V-E-R-W-H-E-L-M-E-D

Facebook does this thing now and shares memories with you, which basically means each day it will show you what you posted in year's past on this day. So today on July 1st, it brought up a blog post I wrote 5 years ago. Life was a bit different then - I was pregnant, which says enough!! Though that has changed, somethings are the same - I wrote about being overwhelmed. I'm no longer anxious about adding another child to our family, but life has a way of leaving me overwhelmed with other things - the busy schedules of my 5 kids, sickness, hurting friends.... You know, chances are you've been overwhelmed before yourself. If you find yourself there today, my prayer is these words encourage you and put things in perspective! 

I've been away from my blog for awhile and the title of this post is part of the reason - I have found myself a bit overwhelmed at times! There have been moments this description of me has defined me - not always a good thing, but God has used this to teach me.

You see we are weeks, or possibly days from delivering our 5th child, and though I've known about this and had 8 months to prepare thinking about it still overwhelms me at times. I mean I'm the gal who survived on nutty bars, Diet Mountain Dew and macaroni and cheese my first couple of years out of college. I'm on the verge of being responsible for feeding 5 little ones - that alone is a scary thought!! It's not just the physical feeding (or cost of raising a family) that has consumed me but the spiritual growth and training I'm responsible for as well.

Then there are the events outside the walls of my home as well - the pain, the grief, the sin, the lost, the change...if I allow myself to focus on this in the wrong way the overwhelming feelings intensify! But, the other day as I took a walk down our quiet country road God reminded me being overwhelmed isn't always a bad thing.

Initially this thought surprised me, but then I was reminded of the times God has overwhelmed me and that is a good thing!!! I paused and took a moment to let this thought sink in and as I did I looked out across the field to see our cattle and God reminded me of His, "I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills." (Psalm 50:9-10) The thought of His resources overwhelmed me and took the worry of my lack of them away!!

My lesson in the great outdoors didn't end there, overhead there were birds and I was reminded of the sparrow, "Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to Him than a whole flock of sparrows." (Matthew 10:29-31) God cares about the birds, He sees them fall...though others may be unaware of my struggles, He is in the midst of them. The overwhelming thought of feeling all alone was replaced by awe for the value my Father sees in me!!

Then an internal kick changed the course of my thoughts and God changed the reason for my overwhelming feelings. At times I've focused on the change that lies ahead and the work that mothering 5 children will involve, but as I recalled Psalm 127:3 my perspective changed. These words say, "Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him." I was still overwhelmed, but now it was for a good, Godly reason - the God of the universe has chosen me to be these little ones Mom, that is unbelievable! They truly are gifts I must treasure!!

Thinking about the responsibility these gifts require is a bit overwhelming, but God kept the lesson going as I recalled Isaiah 41:3, "For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." This is not a job I can do on my own and when I think about it that way I am overwhelmed, but knowing God is there and not just offering His help, but assuring me of it, I am overwhelmed for a new reason. A good reason, a Godly one!!

Friend if you find yourself overwhelmed today can I suggest you take your concerns to the Lord, listen to what He has to say. Let Him overwhelm you with His love, His power, His provision and His strength!!


Back to 2016, as I reflect on the last 5 years, I'm grateful. Shortly after this post God blessed us with our little Jesse Clay Beran. And just yesterday, as this little man blessed my day with laughs and funny stuff I found myself thinking - "Everyone needs a 4 year old boy in their life." God didn't just bless us with a healthy baby, but also brought us through the transition and has taken care of us in the years that have followed. Oh there have been overwhelming times, but God gets us through. So thankful for the reminder to be overwhelmed by Him today!! 

Friend, today in place of whatever is overwhelming you, I pray you put your thoughts on God - may His goodness replace man's evil, may His faithfulness replace the world's rejection, may His resources replace your lack. He is good, He has a plan and He is working!! Run to Him today!!

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